SmartBrief is talking directly with small and medium-sized businesses to discover their journeys, challenges and lessons. Today’s post is a Q-and-A with Samira Far, founder of Bellacures, a California-based nail salon with franchising opportunities.
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For the unfamiliar, what is Bellacures, and what led you to decide the market needed your business?
Bellacures is a high-end, top-tier nail salon renowned for providing superior comfort, service, cleanliness and cutting edge techniques paired with the most talented technicians in the industry. As a long-time manicure addict I have been frequenting salons all over Los Angeles since the age of 12, which is how I realized there was a niche in the market for a clean, cute, comfortable and trustworthy nail salon. Bellacures is raising the standard for what to expect when you walk into a nail salon.
When hiring, what are you looking for in an employee? Are there specific questions you want answered?
Whenever we work with contractors or bring on employees, we always look to ensure that the work ethic style matches what our expectations are, that they care about giving quality service, and more importantly that they are reliable individuals. While there are no specific questions that are asked, there is a culture test. When someone starts working in the salon and they are not a good fit, the rest of the team identifies it immediately. It’s all about culture.
The guest experience is, of course, an important component to Bellacures. How do you guard against an erosion in quality, particularly with expansion through franchising?
We have a strict qualification process that helps us identify who would be a good fit to bring on to the brand. I feel when people are investing in a business and a brand they truly want it to succeed, so it is in their best interest to ensure quality and maintenance of the brand standard.
Speaking of franchising, what led you to that? Why would you recommend it to other business owners, and what would you advise a potential franchisor to know before taking the plunge?
With the success of our first salon, expanding seemed like the obvious next step. At the time, many clients and people in the community who wanted to be a part of the brand and own a location were approaching us. Setting the concept up as a franchise helped to ensure that each store had an invested leader. Franchising is an interesting relationship that many are not familiar with. It’s about teaching and training individuals on becoming a leader while maintaining brand standard. If a business owner feels that they have the ability to foster growth through training leaders, then it would be a great decision.
You’re a member of various groups including NAWBO. Why did you seek out these groups, and why should other business owners?
I try to meet and network with people from as many different businesses, places, and groups as possible. NAWBO and other groups for entrepreneurs, women in business, etc. have been so helpful for me in finding mentors for all aspects of life, meeting interesting, like minded people, and spreading the word about Bellacures. I think it is important for business owners because being an entrepreneur and working for yourself can get lonely. You need people to bounce ideas off of and talk to!